RR Pogoy went on another scoring spree despite nursing a sprained left ankle as TNT came back to beat Phoenix Super 110-91 in Monday’s battle between two undefeated teams in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
A game-time decision after hurting his ankle three nights earlier, Pogoy bucked a slow start to drop 20 of his 30 points in the second half as the Tropang Giga remained perfect after four matches to regain the solo lead inside the bubble.
Coach Bong Ravena praised Pogoy for playing despite suffering the injury against the San Miguel Beermen that he even earned a new nickname for his performance.
“We call him ‘The Wolverine,’” said Ravena. “For us coaches, we’re supposed to let him rest, but this kid really wants to play because this is an important game.”
TNT struggled at the start as Phoenix, which came into the ballgame having won its first two games, led by a high of 14 before going into halftime with a 54-45 behind 20 points from Matthew Wright.
But Pogoy, 4-of-11 in the first half, made three out of seven attempts as he conspired with Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario, Poy Erram and Ryan Reyes to take the lead.
Castro had six of his 10 points in the third while Rosario, Erram and Reyes combined for 10 in the period to seize control.
The Tropang Giga ballooned their lead to 20 points in the fourth on their way to victory.
Erram had 18 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks while Rosario and Castro had 11 and 10 points despite combining for a 7-of-24 shooting.
Simon Enciso scored 13 points on 6-of-12 from the field, Ray Parks Jr. added 12 points, six rebounds and five assists and Reyes registered 10 points with three triples.
Wright fired 31 points on 7-of-16 from the field and a perfect 13-of-13 from the free-throw line, the most since LA Tenorio made all of the same attempts in Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s win over Alaska in the 2017 Philippine Cup quarterfinals.
Phoenix dropped to 2-1 as Topex Robinson suffered his first loss as the team’s interim coach.
TNT 110 — Pogoy 30, Erram 18, Enciso 13, Parks 12, Rosario 11, Castro 10, Reyes 10, Washington 3, De Leon 3, Semerad 0, Vosotros 0, Alejandro 0, Flores 0.
PHOENIX 91 — Wright 31, Napoles 10, Perkins 8, Jazul 7, Chua 7, Reyes 6, Marcelo 5, Garcia 5, Intal 4, Heruela 4, Gamboa 4, Rios 0.
Quarters: 24-24, 45-54, 75-68, 110-91.